Installer confused about app version

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Installer confused about app version

Postby guy » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:47 am

Checking an app in Synaptic, it was a couple of years old and an upgrade was available. I downloaded it from the Debian repos via Synaptic, but when it tried to install, I got a dialog saying that I already have a more up to date version installed. I tried complete deletion of app, reboot PC, then download current version from the app website. Same message. Also, same versian as the Debian repos.
Any idea how to clear the thing's head so the installer accepts it?
Details: trying to reinstall Dropbox on Debian 8 Jessie + MATE.
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Re: Installer confused about app version

Postby jonni » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:02 pm

Hi guy,

guy wrote:I downloaded it from the Debian repos via Synaptic

Dropbox isn't free software, so it's not in the Debian repos. Nowadays Dropbox provide Ubuntu and Fedora packages. They used to support Debian, and there is a Debian package lurking around in https://linux.dropbox.com/packages/debian/ and also a debian repository at that domain. But I'm not sure how supported they are anymore.

Being an inquisitive sort of a chap though, and because I have a Jessie VM lying around, I added the repo and gpg key, and attempted to install the package with:

Code: Select all
 $ sudo apt install dropbox

This all went fine, and it installed the version with suffix _2015.10.28. I was reminded though that the package installed by Apt is just an installer (much like how the Steam packages work) and the actual client is installed per user, in the ~/.dropbox-dist directory. Googling around it seems a few people have gotten stuck on an old version, and the solution is to delete said ~/.dropbox-dist directory (your files will be safe). Starting the Dropbox application will cause it to be re-downloaded, and hopefully everything will be hunky dory :) Good luck!
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Re: Installer confused about app version

Postby guy » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:51 am

Well, something is in the Debian repos or I couldn't have downloaded it from there! Presumably it's the installer. And yes, it's 2015.10.28. From what you say, presumably it's the Dropbox app downloader not the app itself and the downloader is released under a free license. But app, downloader, whatever, it's all the same to the poor borked user. Apps these days increasingly download the functional bits as and when, as far as I am concerned a downloader is just an app which goes all the way.
I have this same version installed on two machines, one working fine the other not.
I'll try your directory trick and see if that works.
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Re: Installer confused about app version

Postby jonni » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:14 pm

Hi guy
Guy wrote:Well, something is in the Debian repos or I couldn't have downloaded it from there!

You can see where a package came from with:
Code: Select all
$ apt-cache showpkg dropbox

My guess is that you added the linux.dropbox.com to /etc/apt/sources.list or /etc/apt/sources.list.d/*.list some time in the dim and distant past. Anyway, that's slightly beside the point. Is it Synaptic that's complaining that Dropbox is old (which suggests it's an issue with the installer package (for which there are also versions 1.6.2 and 2.1.0 in Dropbox's repo, but no obvious indication of which is the newest), or is it the Dropbox client itself (which suggests a problem with the actual downloaded client in ~/.dropbox-dist/)?

The package I have in that directory is versioned 47.4.74, which is a nice palindrome. Good luck
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Re: Installer confused about app version (SUCCESS)

Postby guy » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:04 am

Yep, deleting my ./dropbox-dist worked a treat.
I then did
Code: Select all
$ dropbox start
to see what would happen and was told that it was not installed and I needed to do
Code: Select all
$ dropbox start -i
.
Seems odd to me that the dropbox daemon should be visible to service my start instruction but the app not be visible to be started. Anyway, this downloaded a new copy and it was happily installed.

The bad news is that Dropbox have withdrawn support for Debian. They offer a .deb package but only support it on Ubuntu. For other distros you can either try the Ubuntu package or roll your own, but either way there is no further support. My new install says it is version 47.4.74, but that does not match any of the old .deb filenames and leaves me none the wiser. Is anybody else picking up on Debian support?

Otherwise is there another similar, decently private and secure cloud storage/sync'ing service that does support Debian? Also Devuan and Android/ChromeOS.
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Re: Installer confused about app version

Postby jonni » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:30 am

guy wrote:Yep, deleting my ./dropbox-dist worked a treat.

Huzzah! The google works.

guy wrote:Seems odd to me that the dropbox daemon should be visible to service my start instruction but the app not be visible to be started. Anyway, this downloaded a new copy and it was happily installed.

The .deb package installs the dropbox command, but that just looks for the files that get installed per-user in ~/.dropbox-dist and ~/.dropbox, and optionally installs them.

As I tried to explain before the .debs just install an installer package (separate from the actual Dropbox daemon/client). There are various versions of that installer package kicking around (_20151028, 1.6.2, 2.1.0) but those don't refer to the version of Dropbox that they install. We've established that Dropbox's own Debian repo gives us the first version of this installer, and that that installer pulls Dropbox 47.7.74 which by all accounts is the latest version.

guy wrote:The bad news is that Dropbox have withdrawn support for Debian.

This may not be strictly true. They don't advertise their Debian repo anymore, but we've just shewn that it still works, albeit with a slight hiccup in your case.
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Re: Installer confused about app version

Postby guy » Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:56 pm

The newest file in their Debian directory is older than their decision to pull support. The web site says we can try it, or the latest Ubuntu .deb, but we are on our own. Maybe LXF could get/publish a statement from them, it might even make a useful story.
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Re: Installer confused about app version

Postby jonni » Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:52 pm

I see, the comment here suggests they don't support Debian, but there's no indication they're going to nix their Debian repo anytime soon... Still, if you're using Dropbox on a Gnome-based system, the best solution is probably to add Debian's nonfree repository, which has the nautilus-dropbox package. This includes its own installer for the proprietary bits, which looking at the version number (_2015.10.28) in the Stretch repo is probably identical to what we've been using. Incidentally, this is the same version as the installers they do support, for Ubuntu and Fedora.

Anyway, by using the nonfree repo you would avoid the inconvenience of having Dropbox's repo disappear in the future, which I suppose it might.

Also, I moved away from DropBox to a self-hosted Nextcloud instance 3 years ago and have never regretted it. I pay $5/mo for a digital ocean droplet, which I can use for all kinds of other things. And I'm free of the proprietary heebee jeebies. We'll be doing an escape Google/Facebook/other proprietary services including but not limited to Dropbox feature one of these months, so keep an eye out.
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Re: Installer confused about app version

Postby guy » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:20 pm

jonni wrote:We'll be doing an escape Google/Facebook/other proprietary services including but not limited to Dropbox feature one of these months, so keep an eye out.

Sounds like a plan. Will do. :)
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